The countdown is on. In just 10 days, Christmas cheer is set to hit downtown Invermere when Light Up Night returns.
The first major shopping night of the holiday season begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, November 26, and Invermere Business Council members Alita Bentley and Justin Atterbury are promising an evening jam-packed with lights, carols and a visit from Santa Claus himself.
“It seems to be one of the favourite events for people,” says Bentley of the annual event. “Everybody who’s experienced it in the past has loved it.”
As in past years, the night kicks off with the Santa Claus Parade at 6 p.m., which begins at Pothole Park and will run through the downtown.
Registration for the parade is still open, and organizers will accept last minute entries on the night (though advance notice is preferred, Bentley says.)
“So many people register floats and they come out and light it up and put music on. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s a really family-oriented event,” she adds.
“The parade is one of the highlights of the evening.”
Once the floats have passed through the downtown, the top three entries, honourable mentions, and a few early registrants will park their creations along 7th Avenue for closer viewing throughout the evening.
Winners in this year’s parade will be selected by a panel of celebrity judges, including the man in red and the winner of a colouring contest the business community is running in area schools. The lucky student will also ride in the parade in the same float as Santa.
After that, head to the cenotaph area to watch Invermere’s next mayor start the countdown to light up the tree.
For the rest of the night, a mix of food vendors, fire pits, hay bale seating areas and stations offering free hot chocolate and popcorn will line the street.
“It’s going to be a very festive, cozy vibe,” says Atterbury. “And with all the lights and decorations it’s going to be a really nice vibe.”
Members of the Valley Voices, Valley Christian Assembly and St. Peter’s Lutheran Church will also add their voices to the holiday mix as roving carolers, while Santa Claus will head to his den to receive visitors and hear holiday wishes.
“No matter where you go in the downtown you’re going to hear that Christmas spirit,” says Bentley.
“There’s going to be all these beautiful voices singing and the fires crackling and people sipping on hot chocolate.”
If you’re looking to plan your Light Up experience in advance, check next week’s Valley Echo for a map of all the booths, vendor and fire pits locations.
For those still interested in entering the parade, find the registration form at invermerevalleyecho.com.